- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1/2 lb whole-wheat or farro short pasta (rigatoni, penne, sedani; 8 oz)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion
- 1 medium carrot, peeled, halved length-wise and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/3 cup), divided
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 5 oz roasted chicken breast, torn into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped raw almonds, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly mist an 11-cup (2.6 L) casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions, drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again; set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add mushrooms, onion and carrot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add salt and continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms are golden brown and carrot has softened, about 4 minutes. Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer gently until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer three-quarters of broth and half of vegetable mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. (NOTE: Be sure to cover lid of blender with a kitchen towel and hold it securely while blending to avoid any hot mixture or steam from escaping.) Add sour cream, parsley, half of Parmigiano-Reggiano, tarragon, lemon zest and juice and pulse blender until mixed. Return puréed mixture to skillet and toss with pasta, chicken and peas. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish, and sprinkle remaining half of Parmigiano-Reggiano and almonds, if desired, over top. Bake until sauce is bubbling and top is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
CHEF’S NOTE: To ensure that you have roasted chicken on hand, cook extra chicken at a meal earlier in the week and use leftovers in this recipe or buy pre-roasted chicken breast at your local grocery store (of course, remove the skin). Raw chicken breast can also be cooked under a broiler set to high. Place chicken on a baking pan that has been misted with cooking spray, lightly mist top of chicken with additional cooking spray and season with sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Broil until cooked through, about 7 to 9 minutes.
Nutrients per 1 1/2-cup serving (including almonds): Calories: 269, Total Fat: 7 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Carbs: 36 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 16 g, Sodium: 226 mg, Cholesterol: 27 mg